The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field for the final time during the team’s offseason workouts. This time for mandatory minicamp. The second workout was Wednesday, and for those who haven’t been paying attention, this isn’t breaking news. The Steelers have been participating in OTAs for the last few months, but mandatory minicamp gets the most news.
In case you don’t know how the offseason is sculpted, Phase 1 of OTAs is essentially just workouts with the strength and conditioning staff, Phase 2 is more position specific training/drills and Phase 3 is the most football-like of all OTAs. It is Phase 3 which is where teams can do 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. No contact, no pads, but plenty of news to go around. Before going any further, it is important to note these workouts are 100% voluntary. Minicamp is essentially an extension of Phase 3 of OTAs, except they are mandatory.
There was plenty of news on Day 2, and in this article I will dive into those, as well as share some video fans might enjoy checking out!
Let’s get to the news...
You will notice Teryl Austin as a common thread throughout this minicamp recap, and it all starts with his comments about Terrell Edmunds. Despite Edmunds testing the free agent waters, Austin said the strong safety position is Edmunds to lose.
This per Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Some notes from post-Steelers walk-through:— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) June 8, 2022
- DC Teryl Austin on Terrell Edmunds at SS: "That's his job to lose"
- DL coach Karl Dunbar says rookie DeMarvin Leal is up to 305 pounds (listed at 290)
- ST coach Danny Smith on Chris Boswell: "He'll get a new deal at some point"
The Flores Factor
Steelers assistant coaches don’t speak to the media much, and this is probably one area of Flores’ new job he likes. Nonetheless, whenever he does speak to the media he is asked about not only coaching, but his lawsuit which was filed against the NFL last season.
On the football side of things, Flores did talk about how players have responded to him, and his first impressions of being with the Steelers.
This per Josh Rowntree of 93.7 The Fan:
Just spoke with Brian Flores. Wouldn’t get into the lawsuit. Said he’s mostly working with inside linebackers.— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) June 8, 2022
I asked him about players describing him as a ‘bulldog’ and as having a ‘military mentality.’ #Steelers @937theFan pic.twitter.com/DwqddjNL0l
Brian Flores says he’s not focusing on his lawsuit vs the NFL but getting into the rhythm of his new job with the Steelers.— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) June 8, 2022
Asked about NFL expanding parameters of Rooney Rule in wake of filing, Flores said anything that creates more opportunities is good but kept it at that.
Makin’ the calls
Fans who want to constantly deter any success of the Steelers away from Mike Tomlin love to point at a struggling defense and suggest Tomlin was the one who called all the plays. Austin was asked specifically about who will be making the calls in 2022, and he answered it honestly. The coordinator puts things together with input from the staff, and Tomlin will add “what he wants to add”.
This per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Asked who will be making the Steelers' defensive calls in '22, Teryl Austin said it would "be like a normal staff where you have the coordinator who’s coordinating and putting things together" with "input from the staff" and head coach Mike Tomlin adding "what he wants to add."— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 8, 2022
More weight management
Steelers media, and fans, have been obsessed with players’ weights so far this offseason. After Najee Harris’ 240 lbs. being made public, weight of certain players has been a major talking point. Another player who has been under the microscope, or on the scale, has been rookie 3rd Round pick DeMarvin Leal.
According to Karl Dunbar, defensive line coach, Leal is up about 15 lbs. since his pro day when he weighed in at 290.
This too from Adamski of the Tribune-Review:
Steelers DL coach Karl Dunbar said 3rd-rd pick DeMarvin Leal has added about 15 pounds since his pro day when he was 290— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 8, 2022
Devin Bush on the move?
When the Steelers signed Myles Jack in free agency, many wanted to know what was going to happen to Devin Bush. It seemed unlikely Jack and Bush would be on the field often at the same time, and the defense was missing the “thumper” to play alongside the athletic inside linebacker.
According to Austin, the Steelers are considering moving Bush from the Mack LB spot to the Buck LB position. And Austin believes he thinks this will help Bush and strengthen the defense.
This per Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports:
Steelers DC Teryl Austin said today on the South Side moving Devin Bush from Mack linebacker to Buck should help him: "We think so. We think we’re making moves right now that will strengthen us. But that will play out in camp and in the games. We like where we are right now."— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) June 8, 2022
Replacing Tuitt won’t be easy
As if you didn’t know this already, even Teryl Austin knows you don’t just wave a magic wand and have another physical specimen like Stephon Tuitt appear.
Teryl Austin said of Stephon Tuitt’s athleticism: “There aren’t a lot of guys on the planet like him”— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 8, 2022
In what might be seen as a strange turn of events, Mitch Trubisky said he was going to be heading down to Florida after minicamp to continue training. That wasn’t the turn of events. That turn came when Kenny Pickett said he will be joining Trubisky in Florida to workout. Talk about a team player.
This per Rowntree of 93.7:
Don’t wear the donkey shirt
If this isn’t a new trend, I haven’t heard about it until now. According to Connor Heyward, the Steelers are are handing out a “donkey shirt” for doing “donkey” things on the field. The younger Heyward was the recipient for celebrating a third-down conversion reception Tuesday in the two-minute drill.
Reminder: You don’t want to get the donkey shirt...
Best locker room moment today goes to Connor Heyward, who told me he got the team donkey shirt for celebrating a third-down conversion catch in yesterday’s 2-minute drill. He said it’s a learning moment — one he won’t soon forget.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 8, 2022
And then he pulled out the shirt! pic.twitter.com/gg1Dlw4BFO
Full Media Sessions
George Pickens on Diontae Johnson, Mitch Trubisky, adjusting to playing in the slot and more. pic.twitter.com/IKjdKiblVw— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) June 8, 2022
Chase Claypool on the rookie receivers, Diontae Johnson, the quarterbacks, working out in the offseason and more. pic.twitter.com/tiXzBOpjI1— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) June 8, 2022
Steelers DL coach Karl Dunbar on his unit’s depth after Cam Heyward in the wake of Stephon Tuitt’s retirement (which he said he was not surprised by) pic.twitter.com/Fw3kiG6u4Z— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 8, 2022
Caught up with Mitch Trubisky after practice today.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 8, 2022
Naturally, Najee Harris stole the show. pic.twitter.com/LspbIIB33F
George Pickens with the acrobatic catch on the far side. Neat! pic.twitter.com/2NIGqf84cI— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) June 8, 2022